Probate & Trust Administration
Attorneys In Bonita Springs, Fl
When a loved one passes away, the emotional impact can last for a very long time. The last thing that the family wants to think about are the financial and legal responsibilities the estate faces immediately after the loved one has passed on. At the Mattar Firm, we have years of experience in helping grieving families to make sure that all of the final arrangements associated with the death of a loved one are taken care of quickly and properly. We understand your situation and we are here to help.
The state of Florida has a probate court system that is designed to finalize the estates of people who pass away. If your loved one had a will, then the probate court will take the time to verify that will and then use it as a road map to setting up a final estate. If there was no will, then there are laws in place that automatically take effect to set up an estate for your loved one. As you can imagine, having state laws establish an estate for your loved one can be a difficult process for the family to handle.
All of this comes at you very fast after your loved one has passed on, and the list of tasks that get performed in probate is long. That list includes:
- Account for all personal assets
- Get final values for non-cash assets
- Process demands from the deceased’s creditors and begin the process of establishing a priority list for paying back those creditors
- Make sure all proper creditor releases are procured for all accounts
- Attend to all final tax filings and payments
- Liquidate assets, if necessary, to finalize debts
- Get tax releases from the state and federal taxation agencies
- Finalize the process to pay out distributions to estate beneficiaries
Along the way, the probate court will name an estate administrator and that is the person the court will deal with for all of these final arrangements. In most cases, the administrator assigned by the probate court is not a legal or financial professional, and that can make the administrator feel overwhelmed.
The Probate Process
The administrator of the estate not only deals with the probate courts, but they also have to deal with the family of the deceased as well. In many cases, the administrator is a surviving spouse or close family member. But there are many instances where a family friend is named administrator, and that can create stress within the family.
The administrator is expected to handle any disputes among beneficiaries, determine which assets are to be liquidated to settle the debts of the estate, and determine whether or not all beneficiaries are able to get the distributions outlined in the will. For a person who has never been an estate administrator before, the process can be anxious and stressful.
Our team of experienced lawyers are here to take all of that stress off of the shoulders of an estate administrator and handle those tasks on behalf of the family. We understand how disputes during probate can flare up, and we also have first-hand experience in how difficult it is to determine which assets get liquidated to pay estate debts. We understand the entire process, and we are here to make sure it is done properly without sacrificing the emotional or physical health of an administrator who has never gone through the process before.
Visiting Us To Create Your Estate
We help many clients who come to us after their loved one has passed on. We review all personal documents and take a look at the validity of any will that is registered with the state of Florida. If there is no will, we can help the family get a head start on filing paperwork to have a say in establishing an administrator for the estate and in preparing the estate for probate.
Our attorneys have years of experience in all of these matters, but we also know that the entire process is easier on the family when there is already an estate in place. Every resident of Florida should have an estate in place at any stage of their life to make sure that there are arrangements already made to take care of their legal and medical issues if they ever become incapacitated. After they pass away, the presence of an estate makes the entire process easier for everyone. We can be your estate administrator and take care of all of the legal and financial details that need to be handled through the probate courts.
If you have another administrator in mind, then we can be the legal team that assists your administrator to finalize your estate. We can offer advice during the probate process, handle all legal issues, and offer plenty of resources and support to your administrator. We will also make sure that your choice of administrator is made very clear in your will, which makes the selection process easier for the probate courts.
But My Trust Automatically Takes Care Of That
It can be very dangerous to assume that the trust you have in place will allow your estate to bypass probate and distribute assets directly to your beneficiaries. When was your trust updated last? Is your trust properly filed with the Florida probate courts? What are the tax arrangements in your trust?
Many people who have a trust fail to realize that the trust needs legal administration after the trust owner has passed on. Just like with an estate, there are bills to pay and financial releases to secure before the probate court will allow a trust to distribute assets. If you automatically assume that your trust is going to allow your estate to bypass probate, then you could be in for a terrible surprise.
Let Us Handle Your Trust
Bring your trust to us and let us review it to make sure that it is set up to meet all of your expectations. If your trust needs to be updated, then we can do that for you and register your new trust with the probate court. If you have had your life situation change since you set up your trust (you were remarried or had more children), then you will need to have your trust updated to make sure that it accurately reflects your final wishes.
If a loved one has passed on with a trust in effect, then we recommend that you let us represent your family to the probate court in respect to that trust. If the probate court has any questions or concerns, we can handle that for you and make sure that your loved one’s trust is honored fully.
We are your complete probate and trust attorney. Our asset protection attorneys have the experience and tools necessary to make sure that your estate is properly represented to the probate courts, and we can be the legal team that you rely on for answers.
Losing a loved one can be an emotionally difficult time. The last thing your family needs is to start being dragged into a legal process that you know nothing about and are not prepared to handle. Come to the Mattar Firm and we will be your family’s legal team and give you the peace of mind you need in a difficult time.
Contact us today for a consultation. You are not alone during this difficult time.